Globalisation in Crisis? The Urban and Regional Challenges of the Great Instability Conference – July 2017 –


A celebratory conference to mark the 10th Anniversary of Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society was held on 13-14 July 2017.

(Further conference photos can be viewed HERE.)

Some of the presenters have agreed for their PRESENTATIONS, and the AUDIO files from the conference sessions, to be made available HERE.
Download a copy of the Conference Programme HERE.

There was an international roster of SPEAKERS includes: Michael Storper, Jonathan Perraton, Ron Boschma, Michaela Trippl, Ron Martin, Amy Glasmeier, Mia Gray, Riccardo Crescenzi, Erik Stam, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Jürgen Essletzbichler, Xiangming Chen, Dieter Kogler, Yuyuan Wen, Peter Tyler, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley, Anna Davies, Paul Swinney, Jonathan Potter, Rosa Fernandez, Max-Peter Menzel, Robert Hassink, Huiwen Gong, Harry Garretsen, Janka Stoker, Neil Lee, Ian Gordon, Meric Gertler, and many others.

The conference themes included:

  • The Crisis of neoliberal Globalisation
  • Financialisation & its future
  • Inclusive Growth
  • Future of Cities
  • Europe after Brexit
  • Regional Theory in a post crisis world
  • Industrial Strategy: Where to next?
  • Reindustrialising regions
  • Shifting relations in the world economy

All attendees were required to register beforehand.

The financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession of 2008-2010 finally revealed the new global capitalism for what it really was – a highly unbalanced, debt-driven and unsustainable model of economic growth and development, and a model that also diminished environmental resources and undermined adaptive capacities. It was furthermore a model that generated new and increased inequalities, social and spatial, within both the advanced economies and the advancing BRIC countries. While some nations, regions and cities gained from neoliberal globalization, other regions and cities, notably those that had led the preceding era of industrial capitalism, have been the losers, suffering from slow growth, lower and stagnant incomes, insecure work and higher unemployment. To compound the growing divides between the winning and losing regions and cities, the costs of bailing out the banking system has fallen mainly on the latter types of areas, as states have cut public expenditures, especially on welfare, as part of their fiscal austerity response to the crisis. Perhaps not surprisingly, though not widely anticipated by those it benefited, this model is now being increasingly challenged. Populism is on the march, particularly from those communities and groups that feel they have been left behind and marginalized by neoliberal globalization and have borne the brunt of its negative consequences and rapid re-orderings.

The aim of this conference is to address these issues with respect to theories, analyses and accounts of uneven regional development. Are our existing theories and concepts adequate to explain the present instabilities and new realities? Or do we need to rethink our interpretive frameworks? Have we focused too much on ever more detailed, specific and locally-orientated narratives at the expense of situating these adequately within more holistic accounts of large-scale systemic processes and structures? The crisis of neoliberal globalization, in all its manifestations, not only poses a challenge to our existing knowledge and approaches, it also provides an opportunity to take stock and rethink the ‘regional studies project’, and how that project might contribute to the search for a new model of economic growth that is more spatially balanced, sustainable and inclusive.

The conference took place in the McGrath Conference Centre, at St Catharine’s College, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RL. Finding the College webpage for further directions to the College.

There was a Call for Papers the deadline was 20 April 2017. For any queries regarding the call for papers please contact Francis Knights:
Following the Editors’ selection those authors of selected papers are invited to submit full papers by 1 October 2017. All submissions will be subject to the usual formal peer review process. Accepted papers will be included in the special issue, scheduled for publication in March 2018.

Professor Ron Martin, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Professor Peter Tyler, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge

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